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September 01, 2006


Paul Dietz

A serious concern I have with VRBs is the availability of sufficient amounts of vanadium. This 12 MWh unit will use at least 18 tonnes of vanadium. World mine production of vanadium in 2005 was only about 42,000 tonnes. The likely vanadium resource is much larger than this (USGS gives a figure of 63 million tonnes), but much of this would be secondary production, so it would not be easy to ramp up production.

Robert McLeod

Any boom in Uranium prospecting will increase the discovery of associated Vanadium. Also consider that some oil fields have extremely high concentrations of Vanadium that will need to be scrubbed. Venezuelan Boscan ultra-heavy contains 1174 ppm Vanadium. I'm sure VRB is suffering under the recent huge rise in Vanadium prices, however.

Paul Dietz

But that's the kind of secondary production I was talking about. The problem with secondary production is it's very inelastic -- large increases in the price of the secondary commodity will not lead to large increases in production (unless the secondary stream is not being fully exploited.)

Robert McLeod

The scale of production from vanadium rich oil is very large however. Given 6.841 barrels/tonne of oil, and 1174 ppm(mass) concentration of vanadium, then if we can extract 90 % of the vanadium we will retrieve 0.155 kg V per barrel of oil. If Venezulua was to extract 1 Mbbl from Boscan per day, they would produce 155 tonnes of vanadium per day or 56575 tonnes per year. That's more than current conventional production.

Charles R. Toca

The vanadium in the battery is not depleted and will be recycled.

Also, along with making wind energy dispatchable, it also removes the intermmittancy problems of wind energy and the problems caused by power spikes and droops on the grid - a costly problem for small grids and also for larger grids looking at increased wind penetration.

The Ireland application is not the largest - Sumitomo has a 6MW application in Japan. They had the license for the technology in Japan, but have now combined all production under VRB.

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